Laws in most states, including Virginia, don't leave much wiggle room when it comes to penalties for convictions of driving under the influence. Drunk driving is frowned upon to such a degree that many people say that punishments need to be made even stiffer than they already are.
Indeed, the risk a person faces in trying to deal with a DUI charge without the benefit of legal counsel is great. Even just an arrest for DUI can go on your record and result in the loss of driving privileges in some jurisdictions.
That reality is what may be driving the efforts of one 57-year-old man in another state. The hope behind his efforts seems to be that his good intentions will serve to outweigh all the negatives related to his arrest on DUI charges and that a judge will erase the arrest from is record.
It's possible that he may be able to count on the local prosecutor to put in a good word for his effort. The official didn't even pursue the charges because he felt the likelihood of a conviction was so slight.
You see, the defendant was rushing a friend to the hospital at the time of the alleged infraction. According to the official report, police stopped the man at about 2:30 in the morning after spotting him speeding and running through several stop lights. He explained that he was rushing to try to save his friend's life. They had been forced into the do-it-yourself situation because they had been at a remote cabin without cell coverage.
The friend's life was saved, but while he was getting treatment at the emergency room. Officers had the driver perform a breath test and it indicated that his blood alcohol content was about 0.10 percent, just over the legal limit.
Prosecutors said the only slightly elevated BAC, combined with the man's good intentions, prompted the decision to let the criminal charges ride. But it wasn't enough for the defendant to avoid having his license suspended for the arrest.
Early next week, he goes back to court with his attorney to seek to have his arrest removed from his record. If he's successful, he would have his driving privileges restored and his name cleared.
Source: KXTV-TV, "Modesto man says sick friend led him to drive drunk," George Warren, April 15, 2013
- Issues addressed in this blog are representative of matters our firm deals with. Readers wishing more information should visit our Virginia Beach DUI defense page.